Despite being overly guarded about being seduced by cults, I have cast aside my principles and willingly signed up for what may be the biggest modern cult of them all: Facebook. I resisted for quite a while, but the number of friends and acquaintances who have opted to join have reached a critical mass of sorts, so I finally caved in.
According to the site stats, there are 342,726 Facebook members who have registered themselves as belonging to the “Vancouver” network alone, which is really quite a remarkable portion of the population who have cheerfully volunteered to provide the faceless Facebook empire with a complete database of every historical and social aspect of their lives, conveniently sorted and linked and collated. What better business model could one imagine than a data mining firm that need only throw up a website and have money-making products delivered to it for free? So much for privacy concerns. It’s going to be an interesting world soon, when everyone wakes up to the realisation that their Facebook profile can be matched up to their blogs, their Flickr account, their credit card provider, and of course the faceless pictures that they posted “anonymously” on such important cultural sites as ‘Newbie Nudes’, or ‘Rate My Poo’. Separate sites, yes, but not to the CIA under the Patriot Act. The Media Access Code (MAC address) will undoubtedly be the downfall of many. I can’t wait for the 2014 congressional elections!
What really irritates me about Facebook, however, is something that seems to be quite common on US based websites these days. There is a field that asks your political views. The choices are:
- Very Liberal
- Very Conservative
What about the rest of the political spectrum. The furthest “left” one can be is ‘very liberal’? Was Karl Marx ‘very liberal’? And what does ‘very liberal’ really mean? Is this like ‘extremely moderate’? Why not let us call a commie a commie? Or is it the philosophy of corporate America to eliminate socialist tendencies in the world by simply pretending that no such thing exists? Nonetheless, I have identified myself as “other” (which is really the best description for me anyway, whatever other choices might be offered – and that’s not limited to politics) and carried on.
Anyway, there I am. Now I, too, can keep track of all my friends without having to go to the bother of actually seeing them.
In other news, I am getting back in shape again after the relative inactivity of the tropics. I retrieved my stored bike after my return and set a goal of 200km a week, which I have been successful at achieving or exceeding so far. On Wednesday, I am planning to cycle up to D’arcy (north of Whistler) for a few days of camping on Gates Lake. This is warming me up for my return to the east coast in August, when I plan to ride from Pennsylvania to New Brunswick, or thereabouts.